Salvador Dalí

(1904 - 1989)

Salvador Dalí was a Spanish surrealist artist renowned for his technical skill, precise draftsmanship, and the striking and bizarre images in his work.

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Salvador Dalí was a Spanish surrealist artist renowned for his technical skill, precise draftsmanship, and the striking and bizarre images in his work.

Born in Figueres, Catalonia, Spain, Dalí received his formal education in fine arts in Madrid. Influenced by Impressionism and the Renaissance masters from a young age he became increasingly attracted to Cubism and avant-garde movements. He moved closer to Surrealism in the late 1920s and joined the Surrealist group in 1929, soon becoming one of its leading exponents. His best-known work, The Persistence of Memory, was completed in August 1931, and is one of the most famous Surrealist paintings. Dalí lived in France throughout the Spanish Civil War (1936 to 1939) before leaving for the United States in 1940 where he achieved commercial success. He returned to Spain in 1948 where he announced his return to the Catholic faith and developed his “nuclear mysticism” style, based on his interest in classicism, mysticism, and recent scientific developments.

Dalí’s artistic repertoire included painting, graphic arts, film, sculpture, design and photography, at times in collaboration with other artists. He also wrote fiction, poetry, autobiography, essays and criticism. Major themes in his work include dreams, the subconscious, sexuality, religion, science and his closest personal relationships. His life and work were an important influence on other Surrealists, pop art and contemporary artists such as Jeff Koons and Damien Hirst.

The largest collection of Dalí’s work is at the Dalí Theatre and Museum in Figueras, Catalonia, Spain, the Salvador Dalí Museum in St. Petersburg, Florida, and the Salvador Dalí Gallery in Pacific Palisades, California. His work is also represented in all major galleries in the world.

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